December 11, 2001
Subject: Our Lady - in support of
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 16:21:02 -0800 (PST)
From: Yolanda Rael
I read about your piece "Our Lady"
in Ms. Magazine, August/September 2001.
As a young woman from Northern New Mexico, I
LOVE your piece. On your website, I read Jose Villegas' email to you, and
I was sorry that he had the nerve to speak for all of Northern New Mexico.
While I agree with him on the Northern New Mexico issues (e.g. land and water
rights, re-owning our language, etc.,.), I do believe that he was taking a
lot of poetic justicia into his hands to speak for all of us from Northern
Alma, let me re-assure you that there are some
free-thinking individuals, like myself, who are tired of what comes down to
control of women and their bodies by, mainly, the church and men. The Catholic
church, controlled by men, has controlled the women's bodies and women's thoughts
for too many centuries. My mother knew what she was doing when she told her
little girls to never be dependent upon a man, especially the pope.
Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of where
I come from.
Yet, I have struggled, and still struggle, to
define myself outside of what my culture, my family, and our greater society
expect of me as a latina/female.
Therefore, your piece speaks to me in so many
meaningful ways. I recognize the defiant gaze of your Guadalupe. I value the
proud depiction of a morena y su cuerpo latino como el mio.Since this millennium,
2001 - 3001, is the millennium of the woman, I say "¡Basta Ya!"
to male control! Let us mujeres determine what we want from the world. Actively
own our bodies, our spirits, and our paths through this world. Rather than,
with a down-cast eye, continue to be corralled like cattle.
As shocking as Manet's 'Ophelia' was to 1880
Parisian salon society, because she gazed right at the viewer, self-owning
and aware of the gaze (primarily male gaze), your Guadalupe equally owns -
as well as defines- herself and her space.
So, I just want to say, that as mujer from Northern
New Mexico, you've got my vote. And I hope your digital "Our Lady"
gets a lot of circulation.
By the way, do you sell copies of this print?
Mil gracias por su trabajo.